Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That Problem in Charleston Harbor-- Part 1

From the Winter 2010 Hallowed Ground Magazine of the Civil War Preservation Trust.

With all the news about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, this magazine had a really good article by Richard W. Hatcher about that problem in Charleston Harbor, otherwise known as Fort Sumter.

It was built in the center of the harbor between 1829 and 1845 when around 109,000 tons of rock and stone were used to create a 2.5 acre artificial island. On it was built a five-sided fort mounting 135 guns on three tiers and garrisoned by 650 officers and men.

It was 90 per cent finished at the outbreak of the war. No construction took place after that, but plenty of destruction did.

In November 1860, Major Robert Anderson took command at Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor. He had a total of 84 officers and men under his command. Fort Moultrie was one of three active fortifications in Charleston. Fort Moultrie had been neglected for years and was in bad shape. Castle Pinckney was in good shape, but had only one ordnance sergeant as a garrison. Fort Sumter was unfinished, but was by far the strongest of the three.

More to Come. --Old B-R'er

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